Deep Dive: The 2015 Ford Mustang is here with some new legs and a turbo four-banger

The 2015 Ford Mustang is here and because of that, you can expect some pretty big changes. Other than the obviously more curvaceous and “worldly” body, for the first time since the since the loathed “Fox Body” version from third-generation, the Mustang receives a turbocharged four-cylinder—a completely new 2.3L EcoBoost unit, which is ironically the same displacement as the unreliable four-banger from the Fox Body. But more significantly, a fully independent rear suspension goes in place of the traditional and archaic solid live rear axle—another big first for the Mustang, and it’s about time!

Two engines carry over from the previous generation: Ford’s naturally aspirated 3.7L Duratec V6 good for 305hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, the naturally aspirated luscious 5.0L Cologne modular V8 capable of 420hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. The new guy is a first of its kind, a 2.3L EcoBoost four-banger, which will place as the base engine in the Mustang. It’s good for 305hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, sort of rendering the 3.7L Duratec V6 a bit obsolete and redundant…but there are rumors that this V6 will be dropped in favor of a new EcoBoost V6, while the V8 could receive a boost in power to widen the gap.

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The independent suspension system on the rear was designed specifically and only for the Mustang. Being another huge first, it opens up the Mustang’s handling and ride capabilities and potential greatly since the laws of physics make independent suspension superior in nearly every way on the road when compared to a solid girder, a.k.a. a live rear axle.

Altogether, the new 2015 Ford Mustang is a completely new beast that presents great potential. Does it make the new Mustang a true sports car rather than a straightline muscle cruiser? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

For Ford’s press releases, check them out below plus some noise samples:

2015 Ford Mustang – Click here for Soundbites of the all-new Mustang

DEC 5, 2013 | DEARBORN, MICH.

HORSEPOWER UNLEASHED – MOTIVATING THE ALL-NEW FORD MUSTANG

  • 5.0-liter V8 anchors the all-new Ford Mustang lineup with power and torque fit for the iconic brand
  • New 2.3-liter EcoBoost® brings turbocharging to Mustang with exceptional power and torque and projected class-leading fuel efficiency
  • Manual transmissions provide smoother shifting, automatic transmissions feature steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters

The all-new Ford Mustang offers a choice of engines available with either manual or automatic transmissions that make it a great all-around performer no matter how you mix and match.

Less is more, EcoBoost comes to Mustang
The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine brings turbocharging to the Mustang powertrain lineup. Designed to meet the needs of drivers looking for outstanding performance and projected best-in-class fuel efficiency, this EcoBoost engine has been developed specifically for Mustang. The intake manifold and turbocharger housing are optimized to provide better breathing and higher output in Mustang.

With a projected 305-plus horsepower and 300-plus lb.-ft. of torque, this EcoBoost engine fits the bill for a true Mustang powerplant.

“This EcoBoost engine delivers the healthy output that Mustang drivers expect regardless of the speed,” said Scott Makowksi, EcoBoost powertrain engineering manager. “This EcoBoost engine might be small in displacement, but it delivers where a Mustang driver expects it with a broad, flat torque curve and great driveability under any conditions.”

The newest member of Ford’s global family of EcoBoost engines, the 2.3-liter continues to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies including direct fuel injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing and turbocharging to produce big-engine power and torque with improved fuel efficiency.

This is the first Ford engine to utilize a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger that provides quicker boost response while enabling lower emissions and improved efficiency. The cylinder head features an integrated exhaust manifold that separates the inner and outer pairs of cylinders into each inlet passage to the turbo.

Keeping the exhaust pulses separated from the next cylinder in the firing order eliminates mixing losses and maximizes pulse energy to the turbine wheel. The result is quicker torque delivery when the driver needs it for passing maneuvers and similar performance to a twin-turbocharger configuration.

The separated exhaust ports also enable the exhaust valves to stay open longer for reduced pumping losses that improve specific fuel consumption by about 1 percent.

With more than 305 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque pumped out from such a small engine, in a car where drivers are more inclined to use it, ensuring durability was critical. Enhancements to the Mustang EcoBoost engine to withstand the added stresses include:

  • Forged-steel crankshaft
  • Piston-cooling jets
  • Steel piston ring carriers
  • Premium bearing materials
  • Upgraded valve seat materials
  • Forged-steel connecting rods
  • High-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block with ladder-frame bearing caps
  • Deep-sump, die-cast aluminum oil pan

The beating heart of a pony
No Ford Mustang engine lineup would be complete without a great V8 engine at its core. The 5.0-liter V8 powers into a new generation with a host of upgrades that enable it to breathe better, especially at higher engine speeds. Many of these changes are derived from the lessons learned in developing the special edition 2013 Mustang Boss 302.

Getting air into the cylinders and exhaust out is the key to generating more power and torque from any engine, and that has been the focus of development on the V8, which features:

  • Larger intake valves
  • Larger exhaust valves
  • Revised intake camshafts
  • Revised exhaust camshafts
  • Stiffer valve springs – ensures that the valves close completely at high rpm
  • New cylinder-head casting – revised ports that provide a straighter path to the valves for less-restrictive intake and exhaust flow; combustion chamber modifications accommodate larger valves
  • Sinter forged connecting rods – lighter and more durable for high-rpm operation
  • Redesigned piston tops – deeper cutouts clear the new larger valves
  • Rebalanced forged crankshaft – supports higher-rpm operation

These upgrades are projected to generate more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque.

A new intake manifold includes charge motion control valves to partially close off port flow at lower engine speeds. This increases the air charge tumble and swirl for improved air-fuel mixing. This results in better fuel economy, idle stability and lower emissions.

The variable camshaft timing on the intake side now has a greater range of adjustment available thanks to mid-lock phasers. This enables better optimized control of the valve timing over a broader range of engine speeds and loads for improved fuel economy and emissions

Transmissions
More than most drivers, Mustang owners like to take control and shift for themselves. Whether they select a fully manual gearbox or the updated automatic transmission, the experience will be better than in any previous pony.

The Getrag manual has a new shift linkage design for shorter throws and improved precision. The shift lever is now positioned closer to the driver and away from the cup-holders so the driver has a clear path for shifting.

Mustang blends outstanding all-around performance and everyday usability. Drivers who prefer to let the car handle the shifting during their daily work run, but still want to take control when the roads get twisty, will appreciate the new steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles with rev-matching downshifts that are now standard with the Select-Shift six-speed automatic transmission.

The automatic also features a redesigned case with cast-in ribs that help make it stiffer and reduce the weight. Internally clutches have been optimized and operating temperature has been increased to reduce friction. The output shaft is now supported by a ball-bearing that enables a top speed of 155 mph for Mustang GT.

With a choice of powertrains to match driving styles and lifestyles, the new Mustang has contemporary technology under the hood to match its modern design and remain quintessentially Mustang.

DEC 5, 2013 | DEARBORN, MICH.

FORD MUSTANG MARKS 50 YEARS WITH ALL-NEW SLEEK DESIGN, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND WORLD-CLASS PERFORMANCE

  • All-new sophisticated design clearly inspired by 50 years of Mustang heritage evolved to attract wider array of customers and expand global market availability
  • Mustang now available with three engines offering a broader power of choice – a more powerful 5.0-liter V8, a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new fuel-efficient 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine
  • Mustang sets new performance and dynamics benchmarks for the brand with world-class handling, more precise steering control and enhanced ride comfort

The next chapter in the life of the iconic pony car begins today as the all-new Ford Mustang – loaded with innovative technologies and delivering world-class levels of performance – is simultaneously revealed around the globe in six cities on four continents.

“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”

Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia.

“We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang – an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln.

All-new shape, yet unmistakably Mustang
The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – with contemporary execution.

“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” said Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas.

Several key design features define the all-new Mustang, including:

  • A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track
  • The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass
  • Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals
  • Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille

Mustang convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car a more upscale appearance and a quieter cabin. The new top lowers twice as fast as before, and has a sleeker profile when folded for open-air motoring.

The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessible in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.

The Mustang experience
The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in and hit the road. With more options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The upgraded V6 and V8 are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.

Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new intake manifold improves low-speed breathing for better fuel economy, idle stability and emissions.

“This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer.

The Mustang EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance and projected segment-leading fuel efficiency. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with output projected at more than 305 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque.

With at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from the standard 3.7-liter V6, even the most accessible Mustang delivers the performance customers expect.

Drivers will appreciate smoother shifts from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control.

Most nimble pony ever
When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.

“We already set a very high standard for Mustang’s dynamics with Boss 302, and our goal was to go above and beyond that with this new car,” said Pericak.

Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.

The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. This is expected to be the best stopping Mustang yet, with three available brake packages.

At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

Smarter than your average pony
The all-new Mustang features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it. From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus available Track Apps, MyColor gauges and new Shaker Pro audio system, drivers will be able to customize their time behind the wheel.

The feeling of freedom and confidence Mustang instills in its drivers is amplified when they can take control of how the car behaves. On a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time.

The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time.

When it’s time to back off and relax for the drive home, available advanced driver-assist features including Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control can help ease the load, while SYNC AppLink lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment.

50 years of Mustang
April 17, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang and each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” Mustang will continue to be built in the United States at Flat Rock Assembly Plant.

“From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”

 

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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